Advanced Practice Leadership Journey: Taking the First Step – Just Try

by DirectShifts
DirectShifts
December 28, 2021

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Advanced Practice Leadership Journey Author Amanda Chaney, DNP, APRN, FAANP, AF-AASLD.            

As a young nurse in my 20s, I never thought that the Advanced Practice leadership journey would be for me, not anything that I would be interested in or honestly, even good at. After 6 months as a new Registered Nurse, I was asked to become a fill-in charge nurse. I was scared and insecure that I wouldn’t make the right decisions that needed to be made for the team, for proper and safe staffing, and for patients. But I tried and it worked out pretty well. I developed a passion for ensuring that my people and my patients were taken care of. This sort of story has become a recurring theme in my career - just try and do your best.

About 6 years later, I became a Nurse Practitioner. Gosh! That was overwhelming. I was told it would take about a year to really believe that you know what you are doing. So I tried, I read, and studied. I found myself double and triple checking my notes, my orders, and my handoffs to make sure I was clear in communication and plans of care. After about two years, I thought, “Okay. I got this. What’s next?”  

I became intrigued with professional development and the process of how our physician colleagues move through academic rank with contributions to research, quality improvement, and education. I was curious and started asking a lot of questions. I asked for specific physicians and leaders in the organization to mentor me and teach me what they knew. My colleagues were very gracious in allowing me to learn and partner with them on projects so I could learn their process. As I learned more, I came into contact with others who were asking the same questions. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to put all these resources in the same place?”

I envisioned a support group for promising Advanced Practice leaders in their journey and those wanting to advance their careers. So I tried to create one. My idea developed into a formal employee resource group. It did not come easy. We went through five letters of intent and it required a lot of convincing that there was a need for such a group. Once formalized, we grew from 40 people to 450 people in 12 months. I was honored to chair this group for two years. Shortly later, our organization realized that there was a huge need for leadership for our Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant cohort of employees. There was a call for applications, and guess what? I tried. I put my name in the hat, got an interview, and was blessed and honored to lead our newly found subcommittee for Advanced Practice Providers.

It has now been four years since I began my Advanced Practice leadership journey and was named lead APP.  And what whirlwind it has been! We started an orientation plan for all new-hire APPs (with over 100 APPs now having gone through the program), developed a departmental orientation process, improved revenue generation and clinical documentation, increased our number of academic appointments by 45% in one year, created a new APP leaders program, designed an individual APP Performance Dashboard highlighting gross revenue and Relative Value Units (RVUs), optimized calendar, streamlined professional development for performance feedback, and even faced a global l pandemic. Through it all, there was the common theme of - try, try, and try again.

I am often asked, “How should I get started in the Advanced Practice leadership journey?” My answer is “Just try.” No one has it all figured out. We try and try again, learn from our mistakes, listen to what works and what doesn’t. No one does it all by themselves. We learn from each other and find other like-minded individuals with similar passions. We connect and encourage each other. The APP leadership journey is challenging, but investing in APP leadership programs is worth it.

Get started on your way, stay positive, and just try!

This article was originally published on Melnic by Amanda Chaney. Melnic was recently acquired by DirectShifts. Click here to sign up on DirectShifts.

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